Compared with prime lenses, zoom lenses have inherent advantages in terms of operational flexibility. Zoom lens camera systems have therefore been extensively adopted in computer vision where precise measurement is not the primary objective. However, the variation of intrinsic camera parameters with respect to zoom lens settings poses a series of calibration challenges that have inhibited widespread use in close-range photogrammetry. A flexible zoom lens calibration methodology is therefore proposed in this study, developed with the aim of simplifying the calibration process and promoting practical photogrammetric application. A zoom-dependent camera model that incorporates empirical zoom-related intrinsic parameters into the collinearity condition equations is developed. Coefficients of intrinsic parameters are solved in a single adjustment based on this zoom lens camera model. To validate the approach, experiments on both optical- and digital-zoom lens cameras were conducted using a planar board with evenly distributed circular targets. Zoom lens calibration was performed with images taken at four different zoom settings spread throughout the zoom range of a lens. Photogrammetric accuracies achieved through both mono-focal and multi-focal triangulations were evaluated after calibration. The relative accuracies for mono-focal triangulations ranged from 1: 6300 to 1: 18,400 for the two cameras studied, whereas the multi-focal triangulation accuracies ranged from 1: 11,300 to 1: 16,200. In order to demonstrate the applicability of the approach, calibrated zoom lens imagery was used to render a laser-scanned point cloud of a building façade. Considered alongside experimental results, the successful application demonstrates the feasibility of the proposed calibration method, thereby facilitating the adoption of zoom lens cameras in close range photogrammetry for a wide range of scientific and practical applications.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited